Ink (or printer) cartridges are generally very reliable. But sometimes they have problems. So before you recycle and buy a new one, take a moment to see if you can fix it on your own. Since ink cartridges vary greatly between different manufacturers, it is somewhat difficult to describe everything to check in great detail. But generally speaking, your best friend is an observation: remove the cartridge from the printer and look closely for a minute or two to see if you detect obvious problems. If this looks good, you should follow these steps.

Fix Cartridges of an HP printer

  • Remove the ink cartridge from the printer and check that the band or ribbon, which usually comes in new cartridges to protect the print nozzle, has been completely removed. Lightly moisten a paper towel and dry it before reinstalling it in the printer.
  • If the ink cartridge is printing stained or very light text, go to the printer program. Access the “Properties” tab of the printer and look for a tab called “Maintenance” or “Services”. Follow the procedure according to your computer’s instructions and print a test page.
  • Print a few multi-colored pages if your test page prints everything except one color. It could be that the ink in your color cartridge has not had a chance to mix properly. Maybe you have to buy an ink refill or a new cartridge of that color.
  • Lift the carriage from the cartridge and place it in the center of the printer to clean the square pieces of rubber with cotton swabs soaked in warm water. If the printer is dirty it will affect the print quality of even a new HP ink cartridge. You will need to use your flashlight to see your work.
  • Slide a damp paper towel back and forth under the car to remove excess dirt.